Alvarez to Church: Respect right of state to pass divorce law

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House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez appealed to the Catholic Church to stop obstructing efforts in Congress to enact a law on dissolution of marriage and divorce.

“Kaya nga pakiusap ko sa simbahan, igalang naman natin,respetuhin natin yung obligasyon ng gobyerno at rerespetuhin din ng gobyerno yung obligasyon ng simbahan,” Alvarez told some 4,500 new members of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino in the province of Bataan.

The audience broke into applause following Alvarez’ announcement of the passage of the dissolution of marriage and divorce bill.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved at the committee level the substitute bill on dissolution of marriage and divorce. Alvarez is one of the principal authors of the dissolution of marriage bill.

Alvarez earlier said that he expects the dissolution of marriage and divorce bill to reach the plenary by next week and approved by the House before they adjourn on March 23.

The Catholic Church has consistently opposed moves in Congress to pass a divorce law. While there were several divorce bills filed in the past, none has reached the level of the plenary.

Alvarez said the main responsibility of the Church is to take care of its flock alone while it is the responsibility of the government to look after the interest of the entire Filipino nation.

He said that if a particular religion does not recognize divorce it is free to preach its doctrine to its members and dissuade them from taking advantage of the new legal option to sever their marriage ties.

“Wag namang idamay yung ibang relihiyon na gusto naman,” Alvarez said.